Sustainable Development Goals

Unije Island is a water scarce island, especially in summer when the population increases dramatically due to tourism. The developments in INSULAE include an update to the desalination plant (running on excess renewable energy capacity in peak production times) and updates to the entire water infrastructure and monitoring system. The system will also be integrally managed with the electricity grid right down to consumer level, to deliver water and sanitation with maximum efficiency, and avoid carbon intensive water deliveries by water tanker.

Islands energy systems can be smaller and less interconnected, affecting energy availability, affordability and type. Expensive fossil fuel imports negatively affect economies and the environment. Many islands though have a wealth of renewable energy sources representing a great opportunity for exploring new developments in the management of high percentage renewable energy systems.

The activities on the lighthouse islands (Unije, Bornholm and Madeira) all have an energy dimension, and cover a broad spectrum of possible future solutions. From increasing renewable production; to exploring the synergies between different systems for example water and power, transport and power or heat and power; or looking to batteries, biofuels and electrolysis, and smart integrated management of production and demand right down to consumer level to solve problems created by high renewable penetration.

Increasing island energy independence and the resilience of energy and other systems is a key part of future systems design with high renewables penetration. The idea is to ensure that isolated populations are included in the energy transitions, and indeed it makes sense that islands are some of the first communities to make the transition. The sustainability aspect is evident in the key objective of decarbonising the islands through renewables.

Evidently investigating the solutions required to further increase renewable penetration and then putting them into practice is key to the energy transition.

In the INSULAE project the investment planning tool (IPT) links all the developments together and hopes to foster change more broadly in islands by helping them to look for the best opportunities for their unique situations so they can imagine and plan their sustainable decarbonised energy future.